It seems like only yesterday I was sitting down in front of the TV with my siblings, watching Mr. Dressup pull a costume out of his Tickle Trunk, and trying to guess the answer to the owl’s riddles. Looking back on it now, waiting for that show to come on was one of the highlights of my. He may no longer be with us, but Mr. Dressup, or I guess I should say Ernie Coombs, will forever live on in my memory as a happy part of my childhood.
Today marks the 85th birthday of Mr. Coombs, who passed away back in 2001 from a stroke. What I find to be the most remarkable is how he was able to make children so happy with simple crafts and games, most of which go unappreciated in today’s society. Almost all of today’s shows are extremely fast paced, full of special effects and express a limited level of creativity. That’s the only way they can compete with the generation of X-box and Gameboy junkies, but all that does is detract from the purpose of children’s television, which is to entertain, motivate, educate, and who the young minds that the limit to what they can do exists within the limit of their imagination.
There will never again be anyone quite like him on television, and that makes it all the more important that we all take a moment to remember the impact that this energetic, kind and imaginative man had on our lives. If you don’t remember the lovable character Ernie Coombs created, did not have the pleasure of growing up with him on the TV, here is a little YouTube clip from an episode of Mr. Dressup to bring back the memories, or to show you something that you really missed out on:
Ernie Coombs truly was one of a kind. Let us all wish him a happy birthday, and for just one day, remember what it was like to be a child, full of hopes, dreams and imagination.